I walked with the Lady today and met a young French man we met who I will call the Magician. We had aimed to try and reach Conques in the early afternoon, but we were enjoying a very leisurely pace today. Conques is the first major stop on the Chemin. Its also used as the stopping or starting point from Le Puy (as its about 200K away) which makes it a convenient 10 day break for keen ramblers.
Today I’d say that I had my first real experience of spirituality on the walk. For me there is a difference between religion (which I personally think can be done purely for the religion’s own benefit). Versus spirituality, which is God, fate, mother earth (which ever name you want to give it). For me, it’s the search for something bigger than yourself. The Magician is very clearly on a spiritual journey to find something more than he has at the moment. It’s been a privilege to spend the day with him, as hes one of those rare people that you meet where you can see something bigger being pulled around him, to help him find the answers. An example of this would be for some reason I felt a strong need to give him a bracelet I’ve treasured from home which has ‘Misneach’ on it. Misneach is Celtic for courage. After I gave this to him, he’d told me the day before a woman had given him a kind of tarot card to meditate on which had the word commitment on it. We then talked in detail about how you can’t have courage without commitment and neither can you have commitment without the courage to do so.
In the evening we luckily all managed to get to stay in the Abby in Conques, where we had the perfect view of the town. In the evening we went to the daily concert on in the cathedral where we got to hear the monks sing and an organ concert. It has to be the strangest experience to listen to house of the rising sun in such a religious atmosphere. But the night ended perfectly as the Magician and I took a late-night walk to stare at the stars and milky way sparkling out over the silence town wrapped in the valley.